Teens Climb out of Disney Ride, Pose for Photos With “Racist Animatronics”

in Disneyland Resort

A doll in a red German style dress on "It's a small world," a classic Disney ride

Credit: Disney

A Disneyland Resort field trip chaperone recently came clean about shocking behavior from his students on a Disney ride.

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Matt Storrs, a former Model UN chaperone, shared this story from a mid-2000s field trip to Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park on TikTok:


I should have been a better role model and not let them do this. But I can make up for it if I ever get the chance. disneyland itsasmallworld story politics fypシ

♬ original sound – Matt Storrs

“The kids were insistent on riding ‘it’s a small world,’” Storrs recalled. “I’m like, ‘Oh, they’re interested in the world and cultures and stuff like that. That makes sense.’ But I didn’t go on the ride with them because I’m like, ‘It’s a kids’ ride. They can deal with this.’”

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After the teens asked to re-ride “it’s a small world” multiple times, Storrs joined them and found out why they were so interested in the boat ride.

“We got to a couple of spots, and they’re like, ‘Matt, hold the boat,’” he explained. “I’m like, ‘We’re supposed to keep our hands inside the boat at all times.’ They’re like, ‘No, no, Matt. It’s going to be fine. We’ll be safe,’ and so I did it. And I’m not proud of it.”

"it's a small world" disney ride facade during the Encanto Projection nighttime show playing "We Don't Talk About Bruno
Credit: Disneyland Resort

To his horror, Storr’s students began taking photos with what he described as the “racist animatronics” based on different cultures. In each room, they’d do the same thing.

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While Storr wasn’t proud of his passiveness in the moment, he explained that they got away with it because “it’s a small world” didn’t have cameras yet. (He alleged that security cameras weren’t added to the ride until 2008. Inside the Magic was unable to confirm this.)

Still, Storr tried to put a positive spin on the embarrassing story: “I am proud that I kept the pictures, and so now if any of them ever run for president, I can just be like, ‘No, you’re not.’”

More on “it’s a small world” – the Most Iconic Disney Ride

This slow-moving boat ride began as a World’s Fair attraction before it found its home in Fantasyland at Disneyland Park, Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom Park, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, and Hong Kong Disneyland.

Three dolls on "it's a small world" at Disneyland Paris
Credit: Disney

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“Board a whimsical boat ride for a song-filled journey around the globe—this cherubic chorus is pure joy!” the official Disney ride description reads. “Voyage along the Seven Seaways canal and behold a cast of almost 300 Audio-Animatronics dolls representing children from every corner of the globe as they sing the classic anthem to world peace—in their native languages.”

“Amid vibrant backdrops, you’ll travel through country after country, and by journey’s end, you’ll see that it really is a small world after all.”

Never exit a Disney ride vehicle without explicit instruction from Disney Cast Members. Moving machinery and active wiring can cause life-threatening injuries. 

Please note that the story outlined in this article is based on a personal Disney Parks Guest experience. No two Guest experiences are alike, and this article does not necessarily align with Inside the Magic’s personal views on Disney Park operations.

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